Eubank Jr and Smith face investigation over shameful pre-fight spat

Eubank Jr and Smith face investigation over shameful pre-fight spat

Chris Eubank Jr and Liam Smith face an investigation from British Boxing Board of Control over their shameful ‘I’d rather be gay than a cheat’ spat at their bitter pre-fight press conference

  • Chris Eubank Jr and Liam Smith are set to fight in Manchester on Saturday night
  • Their press conference turned ugly with ‘personal’ and ‘homophobic’ comments 
  • The British Boxing Board of Control will be investigating the comments made
  • Smith implied Eubank was ‘gay’ who then outed the Liverpudlian for ‘cheating’ 

Chris Eubank Jr and Liam Smith are facing an investigation from the British Boxing Board of Control (BBofC) over their shameful ‘personal’ and ‘homophobic’ comments at their pre-fight press conference.

Eubank Jr, the 33-year-old son of world champion Chris Eubank Sr, is set to fight the Liverpudlian in Manchester on Saturday night.

But the fighters clashed in the build-up, with Smith suggesting Eubank Jr was ‘gay’, before he in turn made accusations that Smith was unfaithful to his girlfriend.

Chris Eubank Jr (left) and Liam Smith (right) launched into an ugly argument at Thursday’s press conference

On Friday morning, the BBofC released a statement signed by general secretary Robert W. Smith, announcing they were aware of the comments made and would be looking into it.

‘The British Board of Boxing Control are aware of the comments made by Liam Smith and Chris Eubank Jnr. at yesterday’s press conference, and the Stewards of The Board will be considering the conduct of both Boxers directly,’ it said.

When the boxers met again on Friday afternoon for the weigh-in, Eubank Jr stepped out wearing a Manchester United shirt with a rainbow captain’s armband in a move likely to wind Liverpool fan Smith up. 

On Friday morning, the BBofC released a statement announcing they would investigate the comments made

The insults stemmed from the pair’s appearance on ‘Gloves Are Off’ – a staple of Sky Sports’ pre-fight promotion involving two fighters sitting across from one another for a chat with former world champion Johnny Nelson. 

In fact, their episode last month had to be cut short – and carefully edited – after Eubank and Smith turned fire on to each other’s families. 

But the British boxers clashed again on Thursday, with Eubank Jr hitting out at Smith, saying: ‘If you want to get dark and personal with it, talking about being gay and do I like girls? I’ve been told by multiple sources that you cheat on your wife on occasion.’ 

Following the row, Sky Sports presenter Anna Woolhouse was forced to apologise for the ‘offensive’ and ‘homophobic’ language used throughout, while co-presenter Andy Clarke described what was heard as ‘personal’ and ‘homophobic’.

Sky Sports also removed the streamed event from their Sky Sports Boxing YouTube channel. 

Eubank Jr later took to social media, stating: ‘Well that escalated quickly.’

The row was initiated following remarks made by Eubank Jr earlier this week in which he revealed Smith, 34, has been sending him direct messages on Instagram leading up to the fight. 

Eubank Jr referenced those messages at Thursday’s press conference, stating: ‘You slid into my DMs. I’m used to seeing girls in my DMs, I’m not used to seeing guys.’

Smith initiated the argument by asking whether Eubank Jr had anything to say, stating ‘nobody in this room has ever seen you with a woman’

Eubank Jr insisted his private life is irrelevant to boxing but later accused Smith of cheating on his wife

Smith, responding to the accusations of cheating on his partner (left), stated: ‘You haven’t got a missus to cheat on’

Smith, a former super-welterweight world champion, then replied: ‘Chris, you go on about girls, mate, has anybody in this room ever seen you with a girl?

‘Have you got something to tell us? Because you’re 33. Do you want to tell us something? Because nobody in this room has ever seen you with a woman.’

Eubank Jr looked to revert the conversation to the task at hand, insisting personal matters should not be brought into question publicly.    

‘Listen, my private life is my private life,’ Eubank Jr responded. ‘That’s irrelevant to the boxing, but I’m happy, I’m comfortable.’

Eubank Jr, following another prompt from Smith, who again asked, ‘Do you have something you want to tell us?’ continued: ‘It’s a very personal question to ask me directly. You can slide in my DMs or you can do it right now.’

Smith then responded: ‘I’m not that type of way, mate, I like women.’

Later in the press conference, Eubank Jr returned to the earlier argument, this time accusing his impending opponent of cheating on his wife ‘on occasion’. 

He said: ‘If you want to get dark and personal with it, talking about being gay and do I like girls? I’ve been told by multiple sources that you cheat on your wife on occasion.

‘So glass houses mate. Let’s just relax on the personal stuff. I’d rather be gay than a cheat.’ 

This was met with a response of: ‘You haven’t got a missus to cheat on.’

Eubank Jr is taking to the ring for the first time since his February 2022 win over Liam Williams, with his October bout against Conor Benn axed after the latter failed two drugs tests in the build-up to the fight. 

Smith, meanwhile, last beat Hassan Mwakinyo in September last year.

 

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